Rising inequality in the UK

14 Oct

According to the Credit Suisse global wealth report, the richest 1% of the world’s population are getting wealthier, owning more than 48% of global wealth, according to a report published on Tuesday which warned growing inequality could be a trigger for recession.

The report, which calculates that total global wealth has grown to a new record – $263tn, more than twice the $117tn calculated for 2000 – found that the UK was the only country in the G7 to have recorded rising inequality in the 21st century.

Warren Buffet has pointed out, “Through the tax code, there has been class warfare waged, and my class has won.”

So a billionaire has admitted that there is class warfare, that it was declared by the rich against the poor and that they have won. So be it. The resistance starts here.

There are more of us than them. We have a democracy and can vote in a government which is prepared to redress the balance. In principal, that is.

To start with, it must be admitted that the Conservative Party represent the wealthy. David Cameron boasted of it in his keynote speech at the recent conference. They also tell an old lie. This one goes: rich people create wealth and jobs. The lie is retold every few years, and it is so easily refuted it is almost embarrassing. Rich people hold their money abroad, have homes abroad and pay little tax in Britain. They mostly either inherited the money or push money around electronically or gamble with other people’s money. The last two groups caused the crash which has so affected the poor, and never suffered. Instead they are just getting richer while the poor get poorer.

The previous government of the  Labour Party, or New Labour, were as much under the thumb of the financial services sector as the Tories are, they just benefitted less personally (well, mostly). If Ed Milliband wants my vote he had better start sounding like a socialist. And he must be prepared to act like one if he manages to get elected.

The Liberal Democrats have too many broken promises from the last election to be believed about anything.

As for the United Kingdom Independence Party, well, where do I start? They are led by the egregious Nigel Farage. He is a man who pretends to be a political rebel, albeit with the support of the second largest circulation national newspaper and several rich backers. Farage did not go to Eton, as most of our senior leaders did, but to Dulwich College, a second rank public school. It produced Raymond Chandler and P G Woodehouse, but they do make mistakes. Farage used to earn a living as a commodity broker until he went broke. So he is as much a scion of the establishment as anyone else, and one who is so incompetent in business that he failed in a business which is like printing blank cheques. Do I want him in charge of the country? Er…. NO!

We still have old class distinctions in this country. We do, after all, still have a monarchy and an aristocracy. This class warfare was declared by the rich against the poor, from sheer unadulterated greed. What we need is the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Having money doesn’t necessarily make you happy, but at least you can be miserable in comfort.

All the boasts of new jobs created over the last few years show one thing. The vast majority of new jobs are part time, short contract or, worst of all, exclusive zero hours contracts. The entire economy is suffering because too few people have too little to spend. As stated previously, the rich largely spend their money abroad. What we need are proper jobs with proper wages. Jobs that allow people to get decent housing, decent food and sufficient warmth.

It is easy enough to deflect attention away from the real causes of our problems. Blame immigrants; blame the EU, blame the European Convention on Human Rights. But don’t blame the Eton/Oxford/Bullingham Club establishment who are the problem and not the solution. Working class white people are suffering and it is easy to appeal to their worst side. UKIP are being successful on a negative ticket, and the Conservative Party is falling over itself to make concessions to the bigots, racists and Little Englanders. The rise of UKIP seems to mirror the rise of Fascism in Italy in the 1920s. It must not succeed. It must be defeated by telling it like it is. The lies must be exposed, and the underlying racism must be exposed. Britain used to be a great country. If UKIP manage to get a share of power we will become a banana republic.

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